Apple v. Qualcomm: Still plenty of time to settle

This case could last longer than the Trump administration.

The long-running Apple v. Qualcomm contract dispute landed Tuesday at the International Trade Commission, where the wheels of justice grind slow. From a note by Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers:

The ITC’s Chief Admin Law Judge will assign the case to one of the administrative law judges (ALJ), who will then schedule / hold the evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial final determination, which is followed by a final determination by the ITC. The ITC will set a target date for completing its investigation within 45 days of instituting the investigation, while remedial orders in the case are effective when issued and become final after 60 days (unless proven disapproved for policy reasons during the 60-day period).

According to Rethink’s Mark Hibben, writing on Seeking Alpha, recent cases before the ITC have needed a year to work through the investigation process and hearings. Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um doesn’t expect an initial determination before 2018. The final determination, when that arrives, is still subject to appeal. As one Seeking Alpha wag put it: “I’ll see you in court in 2020.”

Text of the ITC’s release here.


  1. Fred Stein said:

    I read Hibben’s piece. I like him. If we have lawyers in our cohort, please chime in on the bundling issue.
    Qualcomm claims that they have bundled non-SEP and SEP patents to Apple’s component suppliers and hence the non-SEP patents are not subject to FRAND. So lawyers? Isn’t this “tying” and anti-competitive.
    Wikipedia on tying:
    And Microsoft ultimately settled on the issue of tying their browser and OS:

    August 9, 2017
  2. Jonathan Mackenzie said:

    Hibben has been viewing this battle from the get go through Qualcomm colored glasses.

    August 9, 2017

Leave a Reply